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Following is a list of press releases that have recently been released on new services, technology and patient care issues.

 

If you have questions about any of these articles, please contact the Marketing and Public Relations department at 706.879.4732

A Look Back on Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Now that October has come and gone, you have probably seen a lot of pink. We participated in a number of Breast Cancer Awareness Events ranging from high school football games to the Health and Safety Fair to Ladies’ Night Out, hoping to help women make informed, healthy decisions for them and their families.

We encouraged and reminded everyone to get their mammograms. We proudly wore our pink and promoted breast cancer awareness.  But what exactly is the significance of "cancer awareness?"

According to the Center for Disease Control, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women and second leading cause of cancer death in women. About one in eight women in the United States, or 12 percent, can expect to develop breast cancer over the course of a lifetime.

Despite all the publicity and the pink outs, there are still many women we heard saying, "I am afraid to get checked or to know if there is an issue."  However, you should be more of afraid of not knowing. If there is anything to learn out of these awareness months it is that knowledge is power.

But here are some important things to consider in order to make an informed decision about your health. Most hereditary breast and ovarian cancer occurs because of a mutation in either the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. Everyone has BRCA genes, but some people have mutations in these genes which increase their risk for breast cancer. These genes normally protect you from getting certain cancers.

You could have an inherited risk if:

  • You have blood relatives who had breast cancer diagnosed before age 50.
  • There is both breast and ovarian cancer in your family, particularly in a single individual.
  • There are other gland-related cancers in your family such as pancreatic, colon, and thyroid cancers.
  • Women in your family have had cancer in both breasts.
  • You are of Ashkenazi Jewish (Eastern European) heritage.
  • You are African American and have been diagnosed with breast cancer at age 35 or younger.
  • A man in your family has had breast cancer.

Women who have a BRCA gene mutation have up to an 87 percent risk of developing breast cancer by age 70.

However, there are genetic tests that can check for BRCA 1 and 2 mutations in women (and men) with a family history of cancer. Northwest Georgia OB/GYN is the only clinic in the county that offers BRACAnalysis.

BRACAnalysis does not tell you if you have cancer. However, the results may enable you and your family to make more informed choices and help you to be ready against hereditary cancer, such as beginning to  screen for breast or ovarian cancer at a younger age. Someone already diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer can reduce their risk of developing a second cancer.  People with a family history may want to know whether they carry a mutation that their children could inherit.

The key to beating breast cancer is early detection. According to the World Health Organization, early detection is the cornerstone of breast cancer control.

Knowing your risk of cancer allows you to lower your risk of cancer. Knowledge is power…a power that could save your life.

Joy Nwadike, MD
Northwest Georgia OB/GYN


LOCATION

Gordon Hospital
1035 Red Bud Rd
Calhoun, GA 30701
(706) 629-2895